Our colleague and friend Steve Deace is the most popular conservative radio talk show host in Iowa.
His rise in conservative talk radio has helped him to become one of the most influential voices on the Iowa political scene, and his endorsement of Ted Cruz for President has helped make the Senator one of the leading candidates in Iowa.
Not to long ago it looked almost certain that Cruz would walk away from the Iowa caucuses with an easy victory, but that win has become less certain over the last few weeks as Donald Trump has regained the lead in Iowa’s polls.
This fact has begun to worry Iowa conservatives, and many of our colleagues seem ready to hit the panic button… but Deace is counseling Cruz supporters to be patient and optimistic about our chances in Iowa.
How can Deace remain level-headed, even as the polls continue to turn against Cruz? Because Deace knows conservative evangelicals in Iowa will play the most important role in the primary.
Let’s play Iowa Caucus math.
Santorum got 32% of the evangelical vote when he won Iowa in 2012. Huckabee got 46% of it when he won in 2008. Cruz will definitely do better than Santorum did, but I’m not sure he’ll do as well as Huckabee did. So let’s say Cruz splits the difference between the two, which would put him at 39%.
Let’s say turnout is 140,000 voters on caucus night, which would be a pretty hefty increase of 15,000 voters over the all-time record. If evangelicals are their average 60% of that, that’s 84,000 voters. 39% of that is 32,760 voters for Cruz from just evangelicals alone. In other words, he’d have almost 80% of Huckabee’s all-time caucus vote record from that one segment by itself.
Now, let’s say Trump gets 25% of those evangelical voters, which is a pretty favorable estimate. That would put him at 21,000 voters. Trump would need to win roughly 21% percent of the remaining 56,000 voters from the 40% who are non-evangelical voters to pass Cruz (and that’s in a crowded field). And that’s if Cruz doesn’t pick up a single vote among those other remaining groups.
Let’s say Cruz gets just 7,230 of those remaining 56,000 to get to an even 40,000 voters. Trump would then need 34% of those remaining voters in a crowded field.
Finally, let’s say Cruz gets Huckabee’s record of 46% of the evangelical vote. That’s almost 39,000 votes. Trump would then need 32% of those remaining voters to win if Cruz doesn’t get a single one of those votes.
Translation: this caucus will be decided by the same thing the previous cacucses were decided by — who has the best organization among evangelicals in Iowa.
Deace followed up that wisdom with one more tidbit that should encourage Cruz supporters.
So, is Deace right? Should Cruz fans be optimistic about what will happen in Iowa in less than a week? Or is the “Trumpmentum” just too much? It won’t be long now; we’ll soon have our answers.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com